TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia demands to restore the list of strategic assets.

The list was abolished a few years ago by the National Movement government and defined assets like railways, dams and pipelines, that have special importance for the country’s security and should not be privatized.

But the National Movement government argued that private owners would take better care of the assets and did away with the prohibition. The opposition criticized this decision, as did parts of society, a resistance which was unexpected for the government.

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili on Monday said during a session of the government’s economic council that it is a state interest to define the list of strategic objects.

“As you know, there the notion of strategic objects didn’t exist anymore and the list was abolished. We have taken the initiative to renew the list, and government will send the list to parliament for approval,” he said.

Parliamentary secretary Shalva Tadumadze said after the session that in accordance with the law about state property, assets owned by the government will be on this list.

“This initiative doesn’t concern private legal entities, and the government uses a contract signed with private companies as part of a relation with them,” he said, adding that every strategic asset which is in the government’s property will make it on the list, but a special working group will be created to identify these assets.

Georgian Railway, the TV tower and other assets will be on this list, Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said after the meeting, and the criteria for selecting assets will be worked out on the basis of what possible threats Georgia faces.

“We think such a list should exist, and this is an international practice. In almost every country there are criteria for selling different assets under special control,” he added.